The theme of this year’s World Brain Day is ‘Brain Health For All’. Globally, our brains are being challenged by many stressors, including pandemics, wars, climate change and a myriad of disorders impacting our existence as humans. These issues can be even more challenging for older people and people with neurodegenerative diseases.
This year’s World Brain Day campaign focuses on five key messages:
Awareness – Brain health is vital for mental, social, and physical well-being.
Prevention – Many brain diseases are preventable.
Advocacy – Global efforts are required for optimal brain health.
Education – Education for all is key for brain health.
Access – Equitable access to resources, treatment, and rehabilitation is essential for brain health.
To encourage better brain health, the World Federation of Neurology created educational videos on several topics of interests, such as non-communicable neurological diseases, the global economic impact of brain disease, and the vital role of the neurologist and advocacy.
PROCare4Life project partner and Milan pilot site CCPP – Casa di Cura del Policlinico is an intensive neurorehabilitation centre focused on the motor and cognitive treatment of patients with several neurological conditions, including Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Parkinsonism. Research on neurorehabilitation plays an important role in CCPP’s scientific activities. Studies range from the application of innovative rehabilitation protocols to the use of new technologies and brain modulation, in order to optimize patient management multidisciplinary strategies. Over the last few years, research studies have also concerned the improvement of patients’ quality of life throughout the continuum of clinic to home care. CCPP studies are especially focused on improving home-based care through assistive technologies, such as sensors, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, in line with the PROCare4Life mission.
This year, CCPP wants to use World Brain Day to promote awareness, in particular, focusing on advocacy, education, and access to resources and rehabilitation in patients with neurodegenerative disease. To help achieve this goal, CCPP neurologist Elda Judica and physiotherapist Paola Antoniotti presented the PROCare4Life project at a webinar organized by PD advocacy mediator Barbara Morandi and attended by several PD patients and PD associations.
During the webinar, Elda and Paola presented PROCare4Life’s general objectives and ramifications, as well as the initial results from the Pilot 1 and Pilot 2 studies. They highlighted the relevance of co-planning between patients and caregivers, as principal users of the solution. The personalization of the solution and the possibility of interaction with healthcare professionals was also highlighted. Finally, the survey and clinically studies from Pilot 3 were discussed, along with videos of Maria, the virtual patient used to communicate PROCare4Life’s potential.
PD patients and their caregivers were very interested in collecting more information on how to participate in the PROCare4Life project, both remotely and in person. They gave feedback on the importance of home monitoring of symptoms, such as falls at night, and on the importance of creating motivational and recreational resources for patients. The fundamental roles of caregivers and advocates was discussed, and their involvement encouraged.
You can catch up and watch the webinar here.
This blog was written by Elda Judica, neurologist, and the team at Casa di Cura del Policlinico, Milan.